Search crews recover body of skier buried in Emery County avalanche

Crews searched a remote area of Emery County for a skier who went missing in an avalanche on Friday. His body was recovered Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. Photo: Emery County Sheriff's Office

EMERY COUNTY, Utah, Jan. 19, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Search crews on Saturday recovered the body of a Nephi man who was buried in an avalanche Friday in Emery County.

The victim, Michael Besendorfer, 26, was caught in the avalanche in a remote area north of Electric Lake, according to a news release from the Emery County Sheriff’s Office.

Crews searched on Friday night, but had to stop at midnight because of the dangerous conditions and concern about causing another avalanche.

Utah Department of Transportation workers blasted unstable slopes in the area, and the search resumed by ground and air Saturday morning.

The search was conducted on snowmobiles, timber sled, snow cats, skis and snowshoes, with the Utah Avalanche Center monitoring the activity.

A search dog and handler were flown in, and teams from Alta Ski Resort and Wasatch Back Country Rescue responded to offer their expertise,” the news release states.

“Besendorfer’s body was located around noon after the search dog, Lucy, indicated on an area.”

Our sincere condolences are extended to the Besendorfer family during this difficult time,” Emery County Sheriff Greg Funk said in the news release.

Emery County Sheriff Search and Rescue, Sanpete County Search and Rescue, Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter crew, Utah State Parks, UDOT, Forest Service, Utah Avalanche Center, Wasatch Back County Rescue and Alta Ski Resort were all involved in the search and recovery effort.


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